Braver Angels Minnesota in the news

Northern News Now, June 9, 2024

Duluth, Minn.

Northern News Now  covered the local Braver Angels discussion about gun control. "While the topic of politics may come up in conversation at many bars or taprooms around our region, a gathering at Bent Paddle Brewing on June 9 aimed to make those types of interactions easier to maneuver...According to organizers, the purpose is to allow people on all sides of the political spectrum to speak their minds on an issue and calmly learn why people feel the way they do.

“We’ve noticed that it’s getting where people are having more and more trouble just having a conversation about politics, where it’s harder to find the middle. We like the term common ground,” said John Wolforth, Braver Angels Northern Minnesota Alliance co-chair.

According to organizers, there are some bigger gatherings planned for the fall, including workshops that will bring together Braver Angels and the University of Wisconsin.

MPR News with Angela Davis, June 6, 2024

Have you ever had a conversation about politics that grew into a heated argument or maybe the opposite — froze into a chilly silence?  

Or maybe you just avoid talking with people who don’t share your opinions on issues you care deeply about.  

MPR News with Angela Davis shares a conversation that will help you communicate better in a politically polarized time.

On April 24, a group of college students and other community members gathered for a workshop at the Historic Chateau Theatre in Rochester organized by MPR News, the University of Minnesota Rochester and Braver Angels, a nonprofit organization that seeks to restore trust, respect and goodwill in American politics. 

Braver Angels Minnesota Newsletter

One’s a Conservative, One’s a Liberal. Here’s Their Secret to Friendship

Inside Hook, a magazine aimed at men, April 24, 2024


Inside Hook Features Editor Alex Lauer writes about his conversation with Bob Osburn Jr. and Bruce Pomerantz. 

KTTC -TV interview with Chris Schoenherr about Braver Angels and upcoming events

KTTC-TV, Rochester, April 23, 2024

Chris Schoenherr, Braver Angels ambassador, was interviewed on KTTC-TV about the April 24 workshop Skills for Disagreeing Better in Rochester.  Chris provides an overview of Braver Angels while promoting the workshop and the April 29 recap of the workshop. See Events for more information. 

Minnesota Council of Churches announces its endorsement of Reduce the Rancor campaign

April 4, 2024

Talking Sense: The roots of political polarization

Minnesota Public Radio News, April 4, 2024

MPR aired Talking Sense: The roots of political polarization, a report on its first Talking Sense event held Feb. 27 in Woodbury. 

Our View: Parties can back up bit talk on political civility

Duluth News Tribune, March 25, 2024

Our View: Parties can back up big talk on political civility (access to full editorial requires signing up for free account)

Campaign calls on Minnesotans to ‘reduce the rancor’ in 2024

Republican Eagle, March 17, 2024
Cannon Falls, Minn. -- A statewide campaign kicked off Monday that calls on Minnesotans across the political spectrum to reduce polarization during the 2024 election.

Called “Reduce the Rancor, Minnesota,” the campaign is sponsored by the nonprofit Braver Angels and is supported by the chairs of Minnesota’s two major political parties. Elected officials, colleges and universities and religious and civic groups are also supporting the campaign.

The campaign asks organizations and Minnesotans to take at least one action to lower the temperature in their conversations about politics. 

Minnesota Republican Chair David Hann and DFL Chair Ken Martin joined the kick-off event at the University of St. Thomas Monday.

Hann said he is sometimes criticized by his party for talking with Democrats, but he doesn’t consider Democrats as “our enemy.” 

“There are a lot of things we disagree on – many things, a lot of things – but one thing I do believe is we have to find ways to work together to find some kind of common ground,” Hann said.

Martin said that it’s OK for people to disagree and people can disagree without being disagreeable. 

“People aren’t listening to each other anymore. People should not be afraid to share their opinions, but to open their ears and listen to others. You might actually learn something and find common ground,” Martin said. 

Bill Doherty, a co-founder of Braver Angels and a University of Minnesota professor, said that the campaign’s key message is that people can learn to “disagree better.” 

“This does not mean giving up cherished values or policy beliefs. It means learning to disagree with respect rather than rancor,” Doherty said.

Two state party chairs and 21 partners join with Braver Angels calling on Minnesotans to “reduce the rancor” in 2024

March 12, 2024
Braver Angels Minnesota news release

St. Paul, Minn. – A statewide campaign began Monday that calls on Minnesotans across the political spectrum – liberals, conservatives and independents – to help reduce hostile polarization during what promises to be a politically divisive 

election year.


Called “Reduce the Rancor, Minnesota,” the campaign is sponsored by the nonprofit Braver Angels and championed by the chairs of the state’s two major political parties and 21 organizations that include elected officials, colleges and universities, Minnesota Public Radio, professional associations, and religious and civic groups.


In a kick-off event held Monday at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, David Hann, chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party, and Ken Martin, chairman of the Democrat-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party, addressed students, campaign partners and Braver Angels members...more

St. Thomas takes steps to 'Reduce the Rancor'

March 12, 2004
By Manuela Hill-Muñoz

In an effort to help foster civility and diminish political polarization, the University of St. Thomas co-hosted the kickoff event for the statewide initiative, Reduce the Rancor. The university, in collaboration with the nonprofit organization Braver Angels, seeks to elevate discourse and reshape perspectives on political differences without altering individuals’ views on the issues themselves.

The event, held at the Iversen Center for Faith on March 11, surpassed expectations with an impressive turnout, reflecting a collective yearning for positive change. The initiative aims to address the divisive culture that has permeated various aspects of society, from government and schools to churches and families...more

Reduce the Rancor 2024, WCCO-TV CBS Morning News

March 11, 2024
WCCO-TV CBS Morning News
Video: Reduce the Rancor 2024

Bridging Divides: The Braver Angels answer to political polarization

March 5, 2024

Owatonna People's Press

By Roger Warehime

When I tell people about my work with Braver Angels, an organization working to bridge the political divide, I often get a raised eyebrow or a skeptical “Really, how do you plan to do that?” Given our ever-widening political rifts, their doubt is not surprising.

In this divided landscape, it’s key to understand two types of polarization. First, there’s attitudinal polarization – where we differ in our political views, values, and priorities. This kind is actually good; it helps us make better, well-rounded decisions. The second type, affective polarization, is the troublesome one. This isn’t about disagreeing on policies; it’s about disliking, even hating, those who aren’t in our in-group. It’s natural to feel a kinship with like-minded people, but the trouble starts when we can’t stand the other side, questioning their motives and even, in the worst cases, denying their humanity...more